The Need for a Guru
The need for some kind of guide or guru is often felt even in this obvious, everyday world; how, then, can we dispute the need for a guru in the abstract and unknown field of spiritual knowledge? One who has had to bear the ups and downs of fortune, and has failed to discover genuine contentment in life, alone will yearn for someone to guide him, will earnestly look for a guru. The need for a guru arises only for him who knows the bitter side of life. One who pines for guidance is a worthy disciple; he who becomes aware of his own ignorance and incapacity can alone be really in search for a guru.
A person may argue that he does not follow the wrong or forbidden path, and does repeat the Lord's name, and therefore, needs no guru. The answer is that, even so, he does need a guru to preclude the rise of the feeling of doership in sadhana itself, because even a trace of such feeling strikes at the very root of spiritualism; indeed, spiritualism means acknowledging God as the sole power and doer. Saint Namadeo could converse with God, but even he was asked to surrender himself to a guru to remove the last barrier to his complete emancipation.
There is a general tendency to call a person a saint if he performs some miracle or arranges to have some mundane desire granted. A saint cannot be recognized merely from his appearance, dress, or even physical action. Only he can adjudge a saint who sees God in everything. We can call him a saint who purges the mind of mundane feelings and expectations.
Who can be called a true disciple? One who genuinely pines to find God, and treats the guru as the sole means to attain God; he thinks of the guru as his religion, his all in all, and never transgresses the guru's command, committing himself entirely to the guru's care.
Endless are the shastras and the vedas. The length of human life and its capacities are too limited to cope with them and grasp their teaching. The sadguru, the saints, have given us their cream in the form of nama as the sadhana; if we assiduously apply ourselves to nama, love for God is bound to arise. Let us take to it and live happily.
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